“I had the idea that it might be wonderful if we could find a world where we could hold on forever to the good feelings we get from a story or a song, keep those feelings inside ourselves forever instead of having them only for fleeting moments. We hear a song or read a story, and the good feelings we get don’t remain inside of us. We are either anticipating them, or we’ve had them and they’re gone. We never experience them as now. Do you know what I mean> I’m writng a story about a little girl who discovers a cave where this is a lasting now.”
“What are you calling it?”
“The Cave of Now.” – The Gift of Asher Lev
It’s always remarkable how meaningful names are. I complain a lot about my last name: Jacobs. I like to joke that if I don’t get married I’m just going to have to change my name anyway because it’s such a boring, common name. But lately I’ve been thinking about how appropriate it is.
For a long time, at least the last four years, I have been wrestling with God, refusing to let go unless he bless me. Finally the sun has risen. We’ve stopped wrestling. And I have been blessed (though I may limp now).
Since I haven’t actually been renamed, I decided to rename my blog. The Cave of Now was a nice title and the passage from The Gift of Asher Lev that inspired it is beautiful but not appropriate. This is not where I wish to live.
One thing that got me in trouble last semester was my hope that I could hold onto Grand Rapids. To the home I had there. Instead of working to make New York City my home. It took an awful Christmas break for me to realize that now is gone. No matter how much I may wish it, I am not that little girl in that cave.
Negotiating with Chaos is a more appropriate title. I want to move through, around, and over the chaos of life in a satisfactory manner and I want to succeed in managing my own.
Among the reasons that I loved The Brothers Karamazov is that I see part of myself in each brother. Like Alyosha, I feel a commission to be a monk in the world. I get filled with the same inexplicable euphoria that makes me want to fall to earth and kiss it. Like Ivan, my mind and heart struggle with God so much that sometimes I want to condemn Him and hold Him on trail. But, no matter how much I try to return my ticket, I can’t and sometimes it drives me mad. Like Mitya, I’m prone to let my wild nature consume me. In my passion, I sometimes try to tear my world apart, or I want to. So often all the raving and raging is really just my way to try to escape all of the thoughts that are accumulating within me. Negotiating this chaos, taming the wild Karamazovian nature, is a continually project for me.
This year, I’m finally ready to stop trying to negotiate all of this by myself.